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01 January 2012 @ 06:34 am
Paganistan Log 2012  
Here are 2011 records, but it's time to start records for a new year.

Here are promotions for the 2012 Paganicon

1-8-12: I was just checking sales and page views for the Paganicon ticket site, and there are spikes associated with the email blasts. I'd like the spikes to be larger, but I'll take what I can get. So far we've sold 50 early-bird registrations, 14 regular registrations, and 10 of the vendors are also registered for the event, so that's 74. The first registration deadline is February 23, so there's still over a month before the price increases. We had 170 attendees last year, so that's definitely a number to beat.

There's some confusion about whether there were actually 170 or 180. There's only one record of a number, and it was 170 on the leadership Yahoo group.

In Message #1095, Monday March 28, 2011 10:19am, Elysia wrote:
"I have 25 bags here which means either we gave out 175 bags, or there is another box of bags out there somewhere. Does anyone have an idea of the total registration count for the weekend? Did we have 175 registrants? That would be really cool. : )"

In Message #1096, Monday March 28, 2011 10:34am, Jenett wrote:
"The final count I heard was 170 with at the doors (or something really close to that.) Go, us!"

Since that is the only actual record of a number at the time, and no one has offered evidence of a different number, but rather a vague memory of a higher number, I'm going to stick with saying that the attendance was 170. I will make some attempt to see if there is other evidence available.

1-14-12: Last week I asked the people on Facebook who read Paganistan Weekly to click the "Like" button so that we could have some idea of how many people actually read it. Seven people clicked "Like" and one person posted an off topic reply. It was not inspiring.

1-16-12: History; The newsletter was started by accident March 9, 2009, with an email blast titled, "Full Moon and Gatherings", which was intended as an attempt to get people to join the Yahoo group. March 22, the format became a brief talk about how great Paganistan is, followed by a day-to-day run down of what was happening, which was unfortunately titled, "This Wek's Events". The titles continued to shift until May 17, when they began being published as the rather generic, "Weekly Update". June 7th, the format of the newsletter was completely identical to the format still used today, except that it did not have the Readers section at the end. July 5th, the title changed to, "Paganistan Weekly Update". October 12, it became, "Paganistan Weekly". June 7, 2010 saw the introduction of the Readers section, and with that, the format was completely what it is today. Since then, it's mostly been a matter of filling in the blank.

1-29-12: I searched Yahoo groups for the word "Pagan". The largest Pagan Yahoo group is Cauldron with 7506 members. The largest Pagan group linked with a specific place is New_Jersey_Pagans with 1692 members. I think that Twin Cities Pagans is ninth largest linked to a place with 628 members. I must have missed one the last time I counted. 113th largest overall. Judging by the message history graph, the other 8 groups appear to have peaked before Facebook. Whereas Twin Cities Pagans has experienced almost all of its growth since Facebook has been popular. We have grown while others have declined.

2-26-12: 199 people are registered to attend Paganicon.

3-16-12: at the time of the opening ceremony, Paganicon had an attendance expectation of 258 people. That's a 52% increase over last year.

4-3-12: The official Paganicon numbers have been tallied. 228 people pre-registered for Paganicon with an additional 13 at the door for a total of 241. 22 people pre-registered for the ball with an additional 17 at the door for a total of 39 for the ball only. 241 compared to 170 is a 42% increase. Adding them up and putting total attendance at 280 would be cheating, but it would also be a 65% increase.

4-11-12: At Paganicon, I was talking with a guy from Volkshof Kindred about Heathenism and how it seems to be schisming from Paganism. I think this is a horrible loss since these are the people for whom historically the term Pagan was coined. He talked about the misperception of white supremacy and male dominance, which isn't what they are about at all, although he did confess that they are predominantly white and there are twice as many men as women. I joked that in Wicca there are twice as many women as men, so there should be a mixer. So I just created an event: Heathen Men & Wiccan Women at Merlin's Rest. So I'm enticing them into the movement by offering them our women. I'm such a pimp.

I've actually been getting requests from Wiccan women for an event like this for years. Apparently heterosexual Wiccan women have a tough time finding spiritually like-minded heterosexual men to date. Until now, the right format for such a mixer had not presented itself.

4-4-12: The following is from a Volkshof Kindred Facebook chat session:
  • 2-3 to nfg for me
  • itll be mt first gathering
  • you're gonna love it
  • wife went to paganicon last month
  • cool!
  • but not many heathens were there
  • no, the heathen crowd is a lot better grounded
  • Volkshof hosts a great event, the feeling of kinship is incredible
  • I'm from Houghton MI and we would never miss Northern Folk Gathering if we can help it!
  • What would attract more Heathens to Paganicon?
  • structure
  • Hi Heather!
  • more booths maybe
  • the wife said other than volkshof booth that was the only heathen group she saw
  • Hi Saga!
  • What sort of structure?
  • well, from some of the pagan gatherings I've been too, "pagan-time" tends to be an issue as well as UPG at workshops
  • as far as neded structure that woudl atract heathens, workshops that have well researched activities/speakers would be a plus.,
  • btw..please excuse my bad spelling....sometimes i type faster that i intend
  • yea i didnt go but wife said she only saw volkshof there so maybe other kindreds with booths?
  • perhaps....inviting Heathens/Kindreds to have educational booths would be an attraction. main stream paganism doesn't realize there is a difference between the two groups and that Heathens can be pretty intense
  • we are rigorous in our studies and we have a large body of substantial lore and history to draw from
  • heathen workshops too... and time for ritual...
  • yeah....a blot workshop that would compare what a blot does in comparison to a circle more common to mainstream pagans....
  • the difference between seidh, shamansim and witchcraft
  • Thank you. I will pass these suggestions on to the Paganicon board. Anything else? I know they want to make the event more inclusive.
  • a workshop on cosmology would be cool, as well as soul concepts
  • Yup, all Saga's suggestions would make me consider going next year.
  • you may find pagans switching to heathenry!
  • I would of gone but wife wanted to take a old high school friend with her instead
  • her friend was the one who dressed as st patrick with a sign apologizing to the snakes she drove away
  • Anna, yes, I love Anna
  • yep
  • my wife went with her
  • It was wonderful meeting Shannon
  • we will both be attending the northern folk gathering though
  • Can't wait to see ya there!
  • i cant wait to go
  • I can hardley wait to see all my friends again!
  • my first heathen event
  • it will be life changing

4-20-12: Here are some ways that th Heathen Men & Wiccan Women at Merlin's Rest vent has been controversial. First, there was confusion about the meaning of the word Heathen. They looked it up in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, where they found nothing about a reconstructionist movement, but a bit about being uncivilized, so I had to educate people on that. Then there are people who can't recognize that this is intended as a singles mixer intended to encourage romantic connections, which I didn't correct because I don't care. Now there are complaints because the event id heteronormative and excluding homosexuals. The people complaining are in relationships, so apparently lesbian Pagans are finding connections just fine without a need for a mixer. 

5-2-12: The Sacred Paths Center announced that it's going to close. ADDENDUM: articles are up at the PNC about it:
Sacred Paths Center to Close: An Obituary for our Community Center
After the obituary, a post-mortem on Sacred Paths Center

5-8-12: 7 women and 1 man showed up for th Heathen Men & Wiccan Women at Merlin's Rest ixer. I guess I can cross that off my list of things to do again.

5-9-12: Shadow Lights Minnesota announced that it's going to close.

5-17-12: I'm about to invite the TwinCities Pagans Facebook friends' list to friend Harmony Tribe, so I figured it's a good time to stop and note numbers. I just heard that Heartland registration numbers are about 2/5 what they normally are, so it's extra important to try to get Sacred Harvest Fest extra support.

TwinCities Pagans Yahoo group: 654 members
TwinCities Pagans: 4,044 friends
TwinCities Pagans group: 2,500 members
TwinCitiesPagans page: 552 fans
EarthHouse MidsummerGather: 2651 friends
SacredPaths Center: 4,589 people like it
Sacred Paths Center group: 1,861 members
Magus Books & Herbs LTD: 4,679 fans
Eye of Horus Metaphysical: 6,132 fans
UMPA - Upper Midwest Pagan Alliance: 1,089 fans
PNC-Minnesota Bureau group: 746 members
Twin Cities Witch Sisters' Night Out: 529 members
The Tree and the Well Institute for Deep Cultural Studies: 696 fans
Harmony Tribe: 4,036 friends
Harmony Tribe group: 627 members
Sacred Harvest Festival: 1,921 fans
Magical Gardens of Twin Cities: 867 fans
Twin Cities Pagan Healers: 173 Fans

6-1-2012: I just invited the Facebook friends list to attend Sacred Harvest Festival, except for about 6 people who I remembered would object. Nels had already invited over 5000. I invited an additional 1195. The ones they already had are the most likely to attend, so i was not actually able to extend the reach much further, but I want to do what I can.

Facebook is now allowing multiple people to invite someone to the same event, so this invite sent it out all fresh to over 4000 people, so numbers have started going up on the page just due to the increased invites.

Harmony Tribe ow has 4,882 friends
TwinCities Pagans ow has 4,071 friends

Settling up on the Paganistan Merchandise, Sacred Paths Center sold 33 magnets and 28 postcards, resulting in $36.60 in profit, which I donated to the SPC. Shadow Lights sold 8 magnets and 5 postcards, resulting in me getting $9.01.

7-23-2012, 9:50pm; I just announced that after Yule, i will no longer publish Paganistan Weekly, and encouraged people to join the Yahoo group. The group currently has 662 members.

7-24-2012, 11:30am; The Yahoo group now has 666 members!

12-22-2012. 10:40pm; The last issue of Paganistan Weekly is published and the Yahoo group has 721 members.